On the superhero shows -- change, change ... plus gay character, musical numbers, more

(The final day of the Television Critics Association session has brought a flood of news about superhero shows. For other stories from these session, look at the previous blogs ... and keep an eye out for future ones. Meanwhile, here's the story I sent to papers.)

By Mike Hughes

There's mad variety to this "MadTV" cast

By Mike Hughes

LOS ANGELES -- Chances are, Carlie
Craig and Jeremy Howard won't be competing for the same roles.

He's black, she's
blonde. He's 6-foot-2 (“6-3 on a good day”), she's 5-foot. He's a
well-sculpted 250 pounds, she's less than half that.

For superheroes, it's now a team project

If you like comid-book superheroes -- hey, who wouldn't? -- then these are good times. We have Avengers and Guardians and now Legends, in an ambitious new show that starts Thursday (Jan, 21). Here's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

first, the superheroes invaded our screens one at a time.

There was Superman,
Spider-Man, Batman, Hulk; each got his own movie or TV show or both.

Suddenly, Mondays are the promised land for unique (and good) TV


In recent weeks, I've been telling about lots of new TV shows, some of them pretty good and some not. But what about shows that are REALLY good and really different? We finally have them, all on one overcrowded night, That's Mondays, beginning Oct. 12, when "Fargo" and "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" debut and "Jane the Virgin" returns. Here's the story I sent to papers:

"Jane the Virgin" is ready for our attention

One of the happier storieas from the first half of the TV season is the emergence of "Jane the Virgin" as a smart, funny. All it needs now is an audience. The show returns Monday (Jan. 19) form a month of reruns; here's the story I sent to papers:


first, “Jane the Virgin” descended into anonymity – the sort of
dark depths only a CW show can see.

Surviving the spotlight at 15; Megan and Mary have been there

When "Anne of Green Gables" arrived, teen-aged Megan Follows was startlingly good. More startling was the way she often avoided big-time films and TV afterward, instead doing Shakespeare and Ibsen and such.

Now -- 30 years after being cast as Anne -- she's back on TV in "Reign," which starts Thursday (Oct. 17). I have mixed feelings about the show, but not about Follows. Here's the story I sent to papers:

"Carrie Diaries": There was fun before sex (and before the city)

Let's forgive 1984 for trickle-down economics, cocaine, "Hawaiian Heat," "Partners in Crime," lingering disco music and "Finder of Lost Loves." It was still a time for optimism; and CW's "The Carrie Diaries" is an entertaining show.

"Diaries" introduces Carrie Bradshaw in '84, when she was merely dreaming of sex and the city. The second episode (rerunning at 9 p.m. Friday, Jan.25) and the third (8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28, rerunning that Friday) are flawed but fun. Here's the story I sent to papers:

CW network detours yet again

Any visit to the CW network  brings mixed feeling. This has been the network of slick, sleek shows for young adults; it's also been the network of "H8R," clearly the low moment for television in this millennium.

Now CW offers some interesting switches and detours. Here's the story I sent to papers:


LOS ANGELES – After six years of
dodging the big guys, the CW network still keeps switching direction.

CW schedule has hints of the WB glory days

Television lost a lot of flash and fun, when the energetic WB network merged with the blander UPN. The result -- CW -- has had its good moments, but not enough of them.Meanwhile, bits of the old days linger at

Now I was glad to see hints of the WB legacy on CW's new schedule for this fall. Here's the story I sent to papers this morning:


Five years after the death of the WB
network, there will still be shadows of it this fall.

Fitness trainers? TV can find them up North

Growing up in Wisconsin, I probably should have become a fitness trainer. Then again, I probably should have become fit.

Being a trainer is one quick route to reality TV. Here's a story I sent to papers:


Reality TV has special needs these

It needs cooks and designers and anyone
with a tattoo. And it especially needs fitness trainers.